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The 10 Worst Cities for Renters

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By Andrew Lu on June 19, 2012 9:02 AM

If you know anything about economics, you'll know that when the real estate market tumbles, the renter's market skyrockets.

Unless your credit score falls closer to 800 than 700, you could have a hard time getting a mortgage. Banks and homebuyers got burned in the 2008 real estate bubble, and they're trying to avoid that mistake again by only giving out loans to the most qualified.

What that means for everyone else is that the rents have surged. But when you pay your monthly rent, just be thankful you don't live in one of these top 10 worst cities for renters, as compiled by Forbes.

  1. New York City, NY. While New York City topping this list is no big surprise, the average rent of $2,902 is shocking and over $1,000 higher than the average rent of the next highest rent city (San Francisco). You need to make $55,000 before taxes just to pay rent. Count me out.
  2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. A bit of a surprise to be the second worst city to rent given that the average rent in this Midwest city is only $965. However, it's much cheaper to own here, so renters lose out.
  3. San Francisco, CA. The first of many California cities on this list. The average rent is $1,901. Just be happy you don't work in Manhattan.
  4. San Jose, CA. Only 50 miles south of San Francisco, San Jose's rents have skyrocketed as the line between Silicon Valley and the City of San Jose have blurred. With dot com millionaires come expensive housing. The average rent is $1,520.
  5. Boston, MA. Boston can be considered a glorified college town. Pity to parents who have to shell out an average of $1,752 so junior can go to school.
  6. Washington D.C. The nation's capitol represents this list with an average $1,419 rent.
  7. Oakland, CA. Besides having high crime, Oakland also has high rent averaging $1,318 a month.
  8. New Haven, CT. The average rent here is $1,604. Is this the Yale effect?
  9. Los Angeles, CA. The average rent is only $1,398, but don't be deceived as Los Angeles is enormous, and the low average rent is depressed by a lot of units in parts of the city you'll never want to visit, let alone live.
  10. Santa Ana, CA. The fifth California city on this top 10 list. The average rent is $1,516.

Next time you want to complain about rising rent, just remember the poor renters in these top 10 worst cities for renters. Just be aware that there are laws that protect renters including laws that limit how much security deposit may be required and laws against housing discrimination. If you have experienced any of these issues, you may want to contact a landlord tenant attorney.

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